At a fashion show in Chicago, Julia Hudson made a very powerful and emotional speech:
Almost five months to the day her mother, son and brother were killed in Chicago, Julia Hudson made her first public appearance since the tragedy as a model for a local fashion show featuring full-figured women.
The 31-year-old sister of actress-singer Jennifer Hudson said she wants her pride and confidence on stage to send a message of defiance to William Balfour — her estranged husband and suspect in the case.
“You did this to basically kill me,” Hudson told CBS2’s Pamela Jones, referring to Balfour. “In so many words, to take my life, but it was not. And my mother and my brother and my son, they wouldn’t have wanted that. If I was to not be able to function, if I was to not be able to get up, that would mean William and the devil won,” Hudson continued. “They took enough from me. They won’t take nothing else from me. So I have to go on.”
The 27-year-old Balfour is charged in the October killings. He’s pleaded not guilty. After working the runway in a designer gown, Julia Hudson posed for a crowd of hundreds who attended the fashion show at Navy Pier. She said her sister Jennifer has been a source of strength in the past months, and that her recent fashion photo shoot and catwalk appearance is part of her effort to move on.
“To see me standing here, you know, a lot of people wouldn’t be able to stand,” Hudson said. “But as I said before, to see me stand here and to know that you can go on — there is hope.” Dozens of Hudson’s family members attending the fashion event cheered her on as she received an award for turning tragedy to triumph and learning every step of the way.
“We’re here celebrating her, lifting her up and letting her know that we’re all here as a family,” said Julia Hudson’s uncle, Tyron Hudson. Julia’s Grammy-winning sister did not make it to Sunday’s event. But she will be in Chicago April 25-26 for a concert at the Arie Crown Theatre. Julia, meanwhile, returned to her job as a bus driver in January.